Thoughts on the Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Live Dead, Found(?)


Another pic from this mystery show. I do believe the 6/22/68 date from the site; the estimable Dead Essays says this:

A newspaper review: “”Last weekend’s Grateful Dead concert was a smash. Too bad not everyone knew it. The further the Dead got into their music the quicker some people got out to their cars.” [deadlists]

I believe this photo bears out the review: our heroes have assumed, in Mr. Completely’s wonderful phrasing, Jamming Formation with Lonely Keyboardist (Pigpen is off to the left somewhere), and the crowd is sitting down and bored-seeming. Phoenix, Arizona, not getting the Dead in 1968 sounds right as hell.

My Favorite Gear

phil sweater ferrariHey, Phil. Whatcha doing?

“Being a rock star.”

Sure, okay, right. How much gear do you require?

“All of it.”

What is it with you guys and this fancy bullshit? What’s so wrong with plugging a Fender into a Marshall?

“Because I’m a bass player.”

Fine, a Fender into an Ampeg.

“That’s what everybody does.”


“Fuck ’em.”



band vintage 10376
This picture’s a ruined beauty, and restoration would ruin its charms.

It is also, if you look closely, the most Precarious Lee photograph on record.

“Precarious, where should we put everything?”


“And what should we do with it once it’s there?”

“Stack it on top of itself.”

And Now On To The Cure For Cancer


I think I solved a mystery that may not have existed: the website Spencer found that I yoinked these pics from says they’re from 6/22/68 at the Star Theater in Phoenix, but the rest of the innertubes say that the Dead played the Star in 1970.

Our date is correct (as evidenced by everyone’s clothes and guitars), but the venue is wrong: this was the Travelodge Theater in Phoenix, not the Star.

Everyone can relax now.

(If you’re wondering why I’m not linking to the show, it’s because the photos are all that remain. The saddest four words in Enthusiasm: no recording was made.)

Stately, But Not Plump

Well, holy shit, you are a picturesque dog.

“Hello. Yes, okay. The thing you said. Hello.”

Where are you? It looks like The Sound of Music.


Right. Can you be more specific?


Okay. Listen, I’ve always wondered: do dogs understand music?

“I understand it isn’t threat.”


“Beyond that, not really. Wait: does vacuum cleaner make music?”


“Okay, good. Because that is threat.”

It’s honestly not.

“Better to be safe. I will bark at vacuum.”

Probably a good idea. But, hey: if the vacuum is such a menace, why don’t you attack it first? You know, when it’s asleep?

“Dogs not tactical thinkers.”

Oh, yeah.

“Great military strategists generally not dogs.”

No, you’re right. Rommel was a person.

“People are the best. Rommel must have been great.”

Well, comparatively.

“That is Mt. Tamalpais in background.”


“Nothing. I am dog.”

Good dog.

“Oh, yes.”

What Do We Want?

leilani megaphone
“Lillian Monster, I can’t ask you more nicely: please put the megaphone away or you can’t come over for brunch anymore.”


“Well, use the almond stuff.”


“And tell your friend to put the sign down.”



Front Fell Off

I don’t know what this is, but it’s funny.

He Needed The Sheet Music?

img_3327“Seventeen shows, Mick. You can make it?”

“Can I drum?’

“You’d be contractually obliged to do so.”

“Oh, great. Real loud?”


“How many drums can I bring?”

“Mick, you have the same amount of space in the truck as last time.”

“But I’ve bought so many more drums since then.”

“And think of how many more you’ll be able to buy.”

“Ooh, yeah. Do I get a bass drum?”

“That’s something to think about. Definitely something to think about.”

“Okay, I’ll do it.”

“You wanna know who’s in the band?”

“Don’t give a shit.”


“Can I go on the tour?”

“Jer, we’ve discussed this.”


What weighs more: Phil’s bass or Phil?

High-Level Meetings

bobby billy talking onstage old

“Seventeen shows, Bill.”

“What do I have to do?”

“Play the drums, I suppose. Not assault anyone who’ll call the cops. Stop prank calling Phil.”

“I call in fake reservations to his restaurant.”

“Yeah, they know it’s you. I get texts about it.”


“Whaddya say? One more summer?”

“I have demands.”

“I’m shocked.”

“Mickey still doesn’t get a bass drum.”


“I want to stay in the Maharaja Suite at all the gigs.”

“Pretty sure nothing of that sort exists in Wisconsin, but the hotels are gonna be pretty swanky.”

“I want a new Benjy.”

“Well, you know: find a guy and we’ll put him on the payroll.”

“No. I want the tour to pay for research into cloning a synthetic android Benjy.”

“I’ll call Alembic, but I can’t promise anything.”

“You know I’m gonna put my dick in stuff, right?”

“When have I ever stopped you?”

“Guy with the pretty hair still in the band?”


“Black guy?”

“He has a name.”

“It’s not–”



“Meyers kid still making faces?”

“Uh-huh, yeah.”

“Whatever. Send a plane to Kauai the day before the tour.”

“Yeah, okay.”

“Hey, speaking of planes: how come you didn’t invite me to your Super Bowl gig?”

“You would have insisted on being paid, and I preferred to keep the money for myself.”

“You’re getting smart, Weir.”

“Sure, sure.”


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